Live Review: Oddkin @ The Cluny, Newcastle (07.12.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Photo by Sam Wall

The stormy day had settled into a calm, but dark, night which seems like the perfect setting for the moodiness and intensity that the night served. Before the gig begins the bar is a hotbed for murmurings of where they know Ezra Miller from and how famous they are. Full of expectations, the crowd moved into the, surprisingly, only half-full venue.

First to the stage was Holy Braille, whose brand of gothic electronics seem to be a never-ending surge of energy. This energy is transposed into vocal mastery by Birmingham sisters Qazi & Qazi as the push and pull of their heart-soaring harmonies invoke the likes of First Aid Kit and The Civil Wars. Their intrepid, soul-bearing lyrics establish them within a pocket of folk-pop where ballads are their game- and a game they play well.

Finally, the build-up of darkwave synths and acoustic harmonies seemingly merge to create the perfect conditions for Oddkin to emerge, balaclava-clad and focused. Find Me, Morning inaugurates the stage as Miller’s domain. A mingling of art-pop and indie-rock, the experimental yet mature sound is elevated in the live environment, with Miller’s emotive and slightly manic performance ensuring every word is punched out and every drum is struck with their entire weight. 

Ebb and flow define the set, as Miller saunters to the front of the stage for some and tucks themself behind the drums for others, still demanding the attention the crowd willingly gives them, but also allowing for the talent of guitarist and vocalist Lilah Larson to emerge. Cool Marriage, Bro is the highlight of the night. As Larson laments: “I know you want me but you’re a coward…give your husband my love” the tune is recovering from a passionate and euphoric clash of instruments. The crowd wants more, and Larson and Miller indulge the bartering from the front before playing their last tune.  The band finishes with their latest single Yada Yada, a groovy banger complete with Dracula-Esque synths that sees the crowd satisfied and, now, firm fans of Oddkin.

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